Song of the Day 10/13: Bob Dylan, “Things Have Changed” : Delaware Liberal

Song of the Day 10/13: Bob Dylan, “Things Have Changed”

Filed in Arts and Entertainment by on October 13, 2021

This song won the Academy Award for Best Original Song in 2001 for its inclusion on the soundtrack of “The Wonder Boys,” and its chorus about sums it up for me — people are crazy and times are strange. I’m locked in tight. I’m out of range. I used to care, but things have changed.

Here’s the performance Dylan gave for the Oscars telecast from Australia, where he was on tour at the time, along with his acceptance speech.

Dylan wrote at least part of the lyric after reading the script — dancing lessons, the jitterbug rag and dressing in drag all feature in the plot of the film. Director Curtis Hanson said, “I learned that Dylan might be interested in contributing an original song. So when I came back from filming in Pittsburgh, Bob came by the editing room to see some rough cut footage. I told him the story and introduced him to the characters. … Weeks later a CD arrived in the mail.”

The official video for the song intercuts scenes from the movie with Dylan in a barroom, making it seem he’s in the same place the characters are.

Dylan nicked a lot of songs in his day — after all, he started out in the folk movement, where the malleability of the material was a foundational principle — but he was seldom as straightforward about it as he was with this track. For years fans noted the similarity between “Things Have Changed” and Marty Stuart’s “Observations of a Crow,” which appeared on his “Pilgrim” concept album in 1999, and Stuart eventually told the tale to American Songwriter magazine.

I took him to my warehouse to see all the country music treasures I have. Bob said, “Hey, I like that ‘Crow’ song. I might borrow something out of that.” I said, “Well, I probably borrowed it from you in the first place. Go ahead.”

Stuart wrote his song after his tour bus stopped for gas on a desolate stretch of Route 66 and he noticed a crow on an electric line taking in the comings and goings at the truck stop.

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  1. Hop-Frog says:

    Interesting to see the nominees Bob bested for the Oscar — Randy Newman, Sting and Bjork among them. Fwiw, the film Bjork starred in, Lars von Trier’s “Dancer in the Dark,” is a beautifully made film, with some incredible musical scenes and an ending you’ll find hard to forget.

  2. nathan arizona says:

    That “Wonder Boys” movie is based on an early work by outstanding contemporary novelist Michael Chabon. Chabon was also showrunner and executive producer for the TV movie “Star Trek: Picard.”

  3. DJT Toadstool says:

    It would not be a surprise based on recent history if Bob includes this in some of his upcoming shows.